By Margaret Yang, CMC Markets
US equities closed mildly higher overnight, as the prospect of faster US economic growth outstripped the impact of two terrorist attacks in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial average closed at a new record high of 19,974 points, despite thinning trading volumes ahead of December holidays.
The Japanese yen traded near to its weakest level since February after the BOJ choose to stand pat on monetary policy yesterday. This didn’t’ trigger much volatility as the outcome was widely expected by most of economists and traders. A weak yen fueled the rally in Japanese equities to their highest level year-to-date. The Nikkei is currently trading at the 19,500 area, with the next major resistance level at around 20,000 level.
The rest of Asia’s markets were mixed, with Hong Kong, China and Singapore closing lower. The selling was accompanied by emerging market outflow as the US dollar surged to a decade’s high since Donald Trump’s election. The fast depreciation of RMB also urged outflow from the Chinese market, further weighing on Hong Kong equities.
In Singapore, a rebound in crude oil prices overnight might help to lift market sentiment today. Banks and telco shares are still consolidating, thus limiting the upside for the Straits Times Index.
The SGX’s daily equity trading volume fell to around S$900m recently, as year-end trading activities shrank. A relatively quiet calendar towards the end of the year suggests that the Straits Times Index may range between 2,900-2,960 points, unless we see a “window-dressing” rally next week.
US 30 – Cash